When discussing online marketing, it’s not uncommon to hear people throw around the term SEO (or search engine optimization) in the same breath as SEM (or search engine marketing). But what exactly does that mean? What’s the difference between SEO and SEM? In this article, we'll take a look at how SEO and SEM are different, as well as how they can work together to help you market your business online effectively.
SEO is about gaining natural visibility
SEO marketing is all about enhancing your site’s visibility in search engine results. It’s about getting into Google and other search engines when people look for relevant keywords or keyword phrases related to your business and what you do, as well as improving your website’s user experience so that it serves as a useful resource for people who have questions or are looking for specific information related to your field of work or products and services you offer.
SEM is about paid placement
It’s a type of marketing through which you can boost your organic search results by buying ads on sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is about optimizing your content for organic searches (AKA free traffic), while SEM comes from paid sources. In other words, if you have $$$ to spend on advertising, then search engine marketing (SEM) can give your business a boost in terms of visibility.
Both are necessary
While both search engine marketing and search engine optimization are essential parts of your online marketing strategy, they serve different purposes. Search engine marketing has one goal—to get potential customers to click on your ad. These ads include sponsored listings on Google, banner ads on other sites, or a local listing in Google Maps. Search engine optimization’s main purpose is to make sure that your website appears higher in results pages so that more people can find you when they do a search related to your industry. So what is SEO and what is SEM? Your best bet is to use both, as each contributes its part to help you attract customers who are ready and willing to buy from you today!
Both terms refer to online marketing practices used to attract more visitors and generate more leads for your business website. Both are both important and necessary, as search is a powerful way to connect with potential customers who are looking for products or services like yours. But one is not a subset of another, nor does one term encompass everything that you can do to draw traffic and increase awareness about your brand via paid search advertising. Some popular types of search engine marketing (SEM) include: Paid Search Advertising PPC (pay-per-click) enables advertisers to bid on keywords that trigger advertisements on search engines such as Google and Bing when users search for those words or phrases in their natural language.
SEO and SEM both increase website traffic, but SEO can't be bought—unlike paid search advertising through Google AdWords or Bing Ads—and SEO is long-term and low cost. Search engine optimization can help to improve a business's online presence by driving more organic traffic to its site. Paid search marketing focuses on putting ads in front of potential customers who are actively looking for what you're selling; that is, someone searching for running shoes on Google rather than just Googling something else entirely (which may have led them to your site in a matter of moments). After all, if you can get your company's ads in front of potential customers faster by paying money than waiting for it to happen organically, why wouldn't you want to do that?
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